UK embraces CRISPR crops

© Brian Bould/

While the European Union still grapples with the political complexity of revising its regulatory framework on GMOs, post-Brexit Britain has already made up its mind. In late March, London passed the Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Act, with the royal assent and to the delight of British researchers. For those familiar with the history of the GM controversy, this is a momentous event with strong symbolic value.

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WHO’s roadmap on genome editing

A multi-disciplinary panel of 18 experts from all over the world, a two years long consultation, over 150 pages. The much-awaited report of the World Health Organization on human genome editing was delivered on July 12 and is divided into three parts: A framework for governance, Recommendations, and Position Paper. While not legally binding, it is expected to influence both governments and the scientific community, by offering a roadmap based on widely shared ethical principles and usable policy tools.

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Italy is a yellow spot in the heritable editing map. Why?

Look at this map, from a detailed and up-to-date analysis published in the CRISPR Journal. It’s the global policy landscape on heritable human editing, i.e., modified embryos transferred to a uterus to initiate a pregnancy. Who would expect a catholic country like Italy to stand out as one of the very few countries not totally prohibiting such a controversial practice?

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